Mar 23, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Venus Williams of the United States hits a forehand against Zarina Dayas of Kazakhstan (not pictured) in the first round of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
March 24, 2021
Three-time winner Venus Williams fell in straight sets Tuesday on opening day at the Miami Open in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas defeated Williams 6-2, 7-6 (10) in nearly 1½ hours. Williams won the event in 1998, ’99 and 2001 and is the second-winningest player in tourney history behind her sister, Serena Williams, who pulled out of the tournament.
“I’m very happy with the win today, it was very tough,” Diyas said after her victory. “Venus, I looked up to her when I was little, she’s such a legend. So for me, it’s a really special win today.”
Diyas survived five aces from Williams, who committed 16 unforced errors. Diyas was able to rebound from a 4-1 deficit in the second set and recover from errors on two match points in the tiebreak. But Williams also squandered two set points.
“I’m really happy how I handled the tiebreak,” Diyas said. “It was a lot of nerves, but happy I did it.”
Shelby Rogers and Czech Barbora Krejcikova were also winners on Day 1. Rogers defeated fellow American Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour while Krejcikova needed two hours, three minutes to get past Russia’s Anna Blinkova, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
“I’m really happy to get through that one, she’s a really tricky player,” Rogers said in her on-court post-match chat. “It’s actually my first win at this site. The last time I was here, I was spectating, as an injured person! So I’m very happy to be here.”
Krejcikova gets Poland’s Iga Swiatek next.
Two 16-year-old Americans lost in their Miami main draw debuts. Robin Montgomery fell to Poland’s Magda Linette 6-1, 3-6, 6-0, and Katrina Scott lost to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-2 in one hour.
Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Anastasia Potapova of Russia 7-5, 6-0 for the right to play Naomi Osaka in the next round.
In other action, Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands defeated Czech Marie Bouzkova 6-3, 6-2; Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi defeated American Lauren Davis 6-3, 7-5; China’s Xinyu Wang topped Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 6-2, 6-2; Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska beat Mayar Sherif of Egypt in straight sets; and Germany’s Laura Siegemund needed nearly two hours to defeat American Christina McHale 6-3, 7-5.
Spain’s Paula Badosa won her match against Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann after she was forced to retire after winning the first set, 6-5.
-Field Level Media